Stay Ahead Of Car Problems By Using Your Sense of Smell

Car problems are no fun. They’re even more of a nuisance when you notice them too late. Staying aware of all of your senses—especially your sense of smell!—can help you spot car problems before they cause major issues.

At a basic level, you can diagnose your car’s issues with nothing more than your nose. Even if you know nothing about cars, having an acute sense of smell can help you get an idea of what’s causing the problem. Here’s what we mean.

What’s That Smell? Car Odors & What They Mean

Start your car and smell something fishy? It might not be the leftovers in your passenger seat. Here’s are 5 common car odors—and what to do when you start to smell them.

Light, sharp odor

Does your car smell a little like burnt toast? This light, sharp odor might be caused by an electrical short. Electrical shorts are no joke. Best advice? Don’t drive it until its been inspected by a professional.

Rotten eggs odor

A pungent odor of rotten eggs seeping through your vents? Check your catalytic converter. Often the scent of rotten eggs is caused by it being overwhelmed or failing. Don’t wait on an issue this serious—have the car inspected right away.

Gasoline odor

On modern Subaru models, gasoline odors should not be detectable at any time—except maybe when you’re refueling the car. Smell a strong gasoline odor? Check for a fuel leak. The fuel filler hose, filter, or lines could be punctured or damaged. For your safety, it’s best to have your car inspected by a professional ASAP.

Burning rubber odor

The smell of burning rubber can be quite alarming, but don’t overreact. Often burnt rubber smells are caused by overheated brakes or tires—let the car cool off for a bit, especially if you’ve been driving for a while. Still smell it after a few more drives? Take it to a technician to see if a more serious brake problem is occurring.

Sweet, steamy odor

Does your car smell a little like maple syrup when you start the ignition? Sickeningly sweet smells are often caused by a coolant issue. If the coolant is leaking, then the engine is not being cooled properly. To avoid damaging your engine, this issue is best addressed sooner than later.

In addition to a great sense of smell, learn about your check engine lights to avoid serious issues with your Subaru!

Smell An Odd Odor? Let Suburb Service Check It Out

Odd odors are nothing to be worried about when you work with Suburb Service. We offer Subaru repair and maintenance services to residents in and around Seattle, Washington. If your nose has indicated that something’s just not right with your Subaru, give us a call today at (206) 364-8089 or schedule a service appointment online. Show your Subaru some love.

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